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Old 01-20-2013, 06:57 AM   #106
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

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Originally Posted by janitor View Post
Overlooking for one second the fact that we don't even have half of Dempsey’s pre title run.

The Fulton win is outstanding. Perhaps the most complete domination of a top contender in the history of the sport.

Miske, Brennan, Morris and Levinsky are all good wins. These fighters were all key players in the heavyweight division at the time, and were all pretty much at their hiatus during Dempsey pre title run. These were essentially the fighters who would have probably held a top 10 ranking, had such rankings been compiled at the time. You would also have to factor in that with the exception of Miske, they were utterly annihilated.

Gunboat Smith, Porky Flynn and Arthur Pelkey were name fighters who were on the slide by then.

In all, I don't think that many heavyweight champions amassed a better resume en route to the title.
His point stands though, doesnt it?

Undoubtedly Dempsey is one of the all time greats, but that pre title run maybe has the question marks over it, with the timing of the losses. Fulton is obviously great Win. And willard is a vastly underated win today. But outside of that, how good were the other wins? Obviously if he beat the name fighters he beat, in their prime then it was a sensational run. But the question is did he? I have not yet seen anyone dispel the raw boxrec data he has supplied with any of the fighters. Burts remarks ring true and there is no doubt he was a great,. Maybe the greatest. But how great was his actual run?

I flip on Dempsey, more than any other ATG, so i am interested see some serious counter arguments defending Seamus posts, but i have yet to see anyone really take up what i think is a pretty fairminded challenge despite an obvious agenda.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:03 AM   #107
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

Greb tried to make a fight with Dempsey during this time. Dempsey declined and met Battling Levinsky whom Greb had just thrashed.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:12 AM   #108
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

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Originally Posted by Boilermaker View Post
His point stands though, doesnt it?

Undoubtedly Dempsey is one of the all time greats, but that pre title run maybe has the question marks over it, with the timing of the losses. Fulton is obviously great Win. And willard is a vastly underated win today. But outside of that, how good were the other wins? Obviously if he beat the name fighters he beat, in their prime then it was a sensational run. But the question is did he? I have not yet seen anyone dispel the raw boxrec data he has supplied with any of the fighters. Burts remarks ring true and there is no doubt he was a great,. Maybe the greatest. But how great was his actual run?

I flip on Dempsey, more than any other ATG, so i am interested see some serious counter arguments defending Seamus posts, but i have yet to see anyone really take up what i think is a pretty fairminded challenge despite an obvious agenda.

To flesh out some of these wins a bit more.

Bennan was regarded very highly when Dempsey beat him the first time, perhaps more highly than he should have been in hindsight. This is undoubtedly the pinnacle of his reputation as a heavyweight challenger.

Morris and Levinsky were both names that featured prominently in the discussion about who Willard should defend his title against. If you look at such discussions then Fulton is the name that crops up most regularly, with Morris, Dillon and Levinsky being the other names mentioned. These fighters had clearly been key players over a number of years, and these fights would have been at or close to their hiatus.

Billy Miske would have been at his heavyweight peak the second time he fought Jack Dempsey, in as much as he ever had one.

So in summary, these were the kind of opponents you needed to beat to establish yourself as the top challenger for the title, and that is why Dempsey fought them. He basically beat everybody worth beating during his pre title run, except Wills, Greb and Norfolk.

Now you can criticise him for not meeting everybody around as champion, but can you really criticise him for not meeting every available contender en route to the title. In fact did anybody?
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:02 AM   #109
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

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Greb tried to make a fight with Dempsey during this time. Dempsey declined and met Battling Levinsky whom Greb had just thrashed.
It is fair enough to criticise Dempsey for not making a fight with Greb as champion, but can you realy criticise him for not fighting Greb as a challenger?

His job as a contender was to go after Fulton to establish himself as the logical challenger, not clean out the division.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:30 AM   #110
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

Well I think it's a significant point in a debate about his pre-title run. But no, I don't think you can give him too much hammer for it. I do think we need to be careful about painting Dempsey's defeat of Levinsky as some sort of title eliminator given that Greb had just beaten him up.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:47 AM   #111
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

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Look at the early opponents of any heavyweight champion in history and you'll see a very similiar story. Foreman is consistantly ranked above Dempsey in Heavyweight lists, and look at his opponents before winning the title.

You seriously need to get over Dempsey, Seamus the fact you did all that research simply in order to trash on the man is pretty sad.
first, good point. but foreman was not really seen as a legitimate threat to frazier at the time for just that reason. what if foreman's legacy were based, at least in part, on those tomato can beating years?

Foreman's legacy is who he beat for the title (better by far than any of dempseys wins), who he defended against (norton, as good as any of dempseys defenses but far more brutal) and then in his comeback.

if foreman had beaten the equivalent of willard in the 70s (an inactive former farmer with a good jab...) and then defended against the same good but VERY small group of contenders and then retiring after ali humiliates him, would he be in the top 10? top 20?

what seamus is asking, rightfully so, is what competition, before or after winning the title justifies dempseys status? on the surface, it clear isn't his pre-title run. on inspection, it isn't his title defenses. and then he lost twice to the best fighter he ever would face in tunney.

what are the 5 fives at any point in his career that are within sniffing distance of ali, foreman or johnson's (at least pre-title) resume?
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:50 AM   #112
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

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Well I think it's a significant point in a debate about his pre-title run. But no, I don't think you can give him too much hammer for it. I do think we need to be careful about painting Dempsey's defeat of Levinsky as some sort of title eliminator given that Greb had just beaten him up.
Some papers scored that fight for Levinsky, though most had it for Greb.

Then Dempsey just steamrolls him.

Either way, it is yet another win over another good fighter.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:42 AM   #113
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

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What is this even supposed to mean? What HOFer did Mayweather or Calzaghe beat on their way to becoming a titleholder?

That is not the underlying point. So is that the only two points we have on this scale? Fighting Hofer's or beating guys with ongoing losses in their recent careers or non pro's?
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:39 AM   #114
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

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his win over gunboat smith was a very good win.
This illustrates my point exactly. Gunboat Smith, a name even beginning researchers know and recognize, seemingly another important name in Dempsey's ledger along with those of Pelkey and Morris.

Unfortunately for the name droppers, the Gunboat Smith Dempsey faced had not managed a victory in 8 straight fights.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:48 AM   #115
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

Here's something: Harry Greb was 6-0 against Levinsky.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:52 AM   #116
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

what if you keep tyson's awesome run to the title BUT took out his best opponents after he won the title from berbick (who is at least on par with willard). which means you omit smith, tucker, holmes, tubbs,etc and instead he beat the shit out of a few middleweights (hagler maybe) and a lightheavy in spinks, with rematches against tillis and frazier thrown in for good measure. not only that, but he doesn't even knock out hagler but settles for a decision.

now, after that dominating run he is beat up twice by holyfield instead of douglas. in between the first lost to holyfield, he nut shots a win against douglas to set up the rematch and still loses handily.

how do we view THAT version of tyson and how different is that run from dempsey's own?
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:02 PM   #117
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

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Here's something: Harry Greb was 6-0 against Levinsky.
Yes. And 2-0 when Greb and Levinsky were both trying to make fights with Jack.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:11 PM   #118
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

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Yes. And 2-0 when Greb and Levinsky were both trying to make fights with Jack.
... And Greb also performed similarly against Miske as what Dempsey did around the same time. Greb also went 4-0 against Brennan.

Doesn't stack up too well for Dempsey really, that a middleweight (albeit legendary one) was able to replicate or better his results.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:17 PM   #119
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

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Originally Posted by Nightcrawler View Post
what if you keep tyson's awesome run to the title BUT took out his best opponents after he won the title from berbick (who is at least on par with willard). which means you omit smith, tucker, holmes, tubbs,etc and instead he beat the shit out of a few middleweights (hagler maybe) and a lightheavy in spinks, with rematches against tillis and frazier thrown in for good measure. not only that, but he doesn't even knock out hagler but settles for a decision.

now, after that dominating run he is beat up twice by holyfield instead of douglas. in between the first lost to holyfield, he nut shots a win against douglas to set up the rematch and still loses handily.

how do we view THAT version of tyson and how different is that run from dempsey's own?


I'm guessing not that well.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:29 PM   #120
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

Tbh it's a pretty good run to the title and not really worse than many of his peers. It was top class match making that led to the huge hype surrounding him. He justified that hype by destroying Flynn in the rematch and destroying highly ranked contenders like Brennan, levinsky and Fulton and then going on to destroy the champion who had a reputation for being durable if nothing else.

This pre title run isn't anything to be criticised really, it was a mixture of great matchmaking against faded name opponents and Dempsey maintaining his destructive shows of dominance when he stepped up in class.

The thing to be held against Dempsey is his failure to fight wills and Greb, instead retiring to Hollywood. Personally it might have been a good choice as he was able to make risk free money and get laid with many a beauty, but boxing wise it leaves him open to criticism.

Especially because these are two guys who aren't filmed so we can't even analyse how a fight might have gone between these two. Langford seemed confident Jack would win but without seeing Wills or Greb myself I can't share that confidence.

Back to the thread though, his pre title run isn't what I'd call particularly great but it is devastating and justified his status as top contender.
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